Iran: How we are uncovering the protests and crackdowns


A woman dragged away by female special forces. Security forces shooting from a pick-up truck. Detained protesters being bussed away. Men ducking for cover from gunfire.

These are some of the shocking incidents seen in videos shared by people inside Iran over the past day whose authenticity BBC journalists have been able to verify.

The BBC and independent media are not allowed to report from Iran, so such videos are crucial to establishing what is happening on the ground.

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Iranian authorities have been disrupting the internet service in order to limit the flow of information and control the narrative, but Iranians are still sending BBC Persian videos of protests happening across the country via messaging apps. Videos are also being posted frequently on social media.

Before a video can be used in any reports, journalists need to establish where and when it was filmed.

They can pinpoint the location by looking for landmarks and signs in the footage and checking them against satellite images, street-level photos and previous footage. Weather reports, the position of the sun and the angles of shadows it creates can be used to confirm the timing.

On Friday, BBC Persian journalists, investigative journalists from the BBC News Reality Check and User Generated Content (UGC) teams and video journalists sat down together to verify the footage coming in.